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The Shield : One of TVs overlooked gems

by Taimur Ijlal 2 months ago in pop culture / tv / review / entertainment
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Why The Shield is the best show most people never watched

Ask someone about their favorite TV anti-hero and their answer will be someone like Walter White, Don Draper or Tony Soprano which are all great choices honestly. Shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Sopranos redefined the role of the protagonist and ushered in a golden age of TV which is still going strong today.

However one TV show which I believe unfairly gets lost in the mix is FX's The Shield which ran from 2002 to 2008 and revolved around a corrupt team of cops called The Strike Team run by their charismatic ( and ruthless ) leader Vic Mackey played by Michael Chiklis.

Far more than just Training Day on TV; The Shield was like an electric shock when it debuted showing the brutality and violence of these cop's lifestyles in a way audiences were not ready for. Michael Chiklis deservedly won awards for his magnetic portrayal of the lead character described as "Al Capone with a badge". The Shield went on for 7 seasons and featured guest appearances by Hollywood names like Glen Close, Forest Whitaker and Anthony Anderson.

Despite all this however; The Shield is still not talked about by mainstream audiences in the same breath as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad which I believe is a tragedy.

Below are a few of the reasons which I believe The Shield is one of the greatest TV shows of all time and deserves to be re-discovered by modern audiences.

I will try to avoid spoilers as I truly do not want to ruin this amazing show for those who have never experienced it

Reason 1 : The Acting

Despite having a huge cast, there is not a single weak link amongst the actors and actresses and The Shield truly features some of these actors at their career best. A few notable mentions below:

Michael Chiklis as Vic Mackey - The central character around which the entire show revolves; Vic is one of TV's greatest creations right up there with Tony Soprano and Don Draper. He is shown committing horrific crimes throughout the series and yet it is Chiklis's magnetic performance which always keeps us sympathizing with him and even trying to justify some of his horrible actions.

Walton Goggins as Shane Wendell - The "loose cannon" character is a cliche that has been done to death and yet Walton Goggins breathes fresh life into Vic's closest confidant on the Strike Team. As someone who looks upto Vic but can never quite match him; Walton is absolutely electric in the role

An amazing cast

Jay Karnes as Dutch Wagenbach - Another cliche turned on its head in The Shield is that of the brainy detective who likes to get into criminals heads and understand their motivations. Jay Karne's Dutch is the nerd to Vic's jock and his interrogation scenes with various criminals throughout the series are some of the most enjoyable of the show

CCH Pounder as Claudette Wyms - In a role originally written for a man; CCH turned out to be the true MVP of the show as Claudette Wyms. A cop with an unshakeable moral compass; she is the true yin to Vic's yang and their conflict is what drives the show over 7 seasons.

Reason 2 : Intensity with a capital "I"

To say that The Shield is an intense show is a bit like saying Godzilla causes a few traffic jams when he comes into a city. The show is an absolutely insane roller coaster ride from the first episode to the last. Watching the Strike Team get away with more and more brazen deeds as the noose slowly gets tighter and tighter makes for riveting TV

Special mention MUST go to Season 5 which introduces Forest Whitaker as John Kavanaugh; a ruthless Internal Affairs agent who is a dark reflection of Vic himself ( or should that be light ? ). This season simply redefines TV intensity and is a must see.

Intense !

Reason 3 : The Story

I say with no exaggeration that The Shield has one of the greatest story arcs of all time. It is very rare for things that happened in the first episode to play a pivotal part in the last episode over 7 seasons but that is exactly what happens. Every character's story arc is wrapped up in a satisfying way and it has one of the best series finales of all time. The last few epsidoes does things that makes you relook at previous episodes and actions in a new light

I hope these reasons gave you an idea why The Shield has a special place in my heart and why I think more people should watch this amazing show

Do yourself a favor and if you like quality TV .. go and watch The Shield today !

pop culturetvreviewentertainment

About the author

Taimur Ijlal

A cloud security techie by day and gamer 🎮 + movie buff 🍿 by night

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